The University of Sussex

Intentionality, representation and function

David Pickles

This paper attempts to describe a way in which intentional phenomena can arise out of natural facts. The author suggests that the basis for an understanding of this emergence is the concept of biological function. He discusses two analyses of function that I call the 'historical view' and the elements from each. He then describes how from certain kinds of function an intentional concept of representation emerges. Finally he defends the teleological approach to intentionality against a recent attack by Jerry Fodor.


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